The Boeing Starliner has successfully landed on the International Space Station for the first time

Tonight, Boeing’s new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, successfully landed on the International Space Station, demonstrating that the car could bring people to the ISS in the future. This is a powerful ability that Starliner has finally established in space after years of delays and failures.

Starliner is in a key test flight for NASA called OFT-2 for the Orbital Flight Test-2. The capsule, developed by Boeing for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, was designed to transport NASA astronauts back to space. But before taking off, NASA instructed Boeing to demonstrate the Starliner flight to show that the capsule could hit all the key points to be reached when it was carrying passengers.

Boeing has so far struggled to demonstrate the capabilities of the Starliner. This mission is called OFT-2 because: it technically completes the mission that Boeing tried in 2019, which is called OFT. During that flight, the Starliner flew into space as planned, but a software malfunction prevented the capsule from reaching the correct orbit needed to reach the ISS. Boeing had to bring the car home early, and the company never demonstrated Starliner ‘s ability to connect to the ISS.

Now, about two and a half years later, Starliner has finally shown what it’s all about. Using a number of sensors, the capsule was automatically directed to the space station’s open port. “The Boeing Starliner is completing its historic first port on the International Space Station, opening a new avenue for the crew to enter the orbital laboratory,” Boeing Communications spokesman Steve Siceloff said during a live broadcast on the port. The pairing took place just over an hour later due to some issues with the Starliner’s graphics և connection loop that were resolved prior to connection.

Starliner has joined the International Space Station
Photo by NASA TV

There has been some concern about Starliner being able to connect to the space station after Boeing revealed some problems with the capsule actuators yesterday. 18:54 ET, Starliner: successfully launched into space on top of the Atlas V rocket, built and operated by the United Launch Alliance. When the Starliner split from Atlas V, it had to launch its own propulsion system to orbit the space station. However, after doing that, Boeing and NASA found out that two of the 12 Starliner engines had failed and shut down too soon. The capsule flight control system was able to enter և transform into a working propulsion, which helped the Starliner take a stable orbit.

Finally, NASA և Boeing argued that the problem should not affect the rest of the Starliner mission. “There really is no need to address them,” said Steve Stitch, NASA’s Commercial Crew program manager, at a post-flight press conference. “But I know what the teams are going to do, what we always do is we go to look at the data, we try to understand what happened.” Boeing today revealed that a drop in chamber pressure caused the engine to shut down early, but the system behaved normally in the event of further engine burns. And in the case of spacecraft surpluses, according to Boeing, the problem “does not pose a threat to the rest of the flight test.”

Boeing also said today that the Starliner team was investigating the strange behavior of the “thermal cooling unit”, but said that the temperature on the spacecraft was stable.

Now that the Starliner is attached to the space station, it will stay for the next four to five days. Tomorrow morning, the astronauts, who are already on the ISS, will open the hatch of the car and pick up some cargo that is packed inside. Inside the Starliner is a mannequin called the Rosie the Rocketeer, which mimics what it would be like to sit in a car.

After a short stay on the ISS, Starliner will leave the ISS to leave the station to return home. The capsule will use its actuators to get it out of orbit և to put it in Earth orbit. The two powertrains that failed are the same type used for this type of deorbit, but NASA և Boeing did not seem to care. “We just have to see if we can reset the drivers,” Stitch said. He noted that working engines can be used, and that Boeing can use a different set of engines to perform the task if necessary. “So there’s a lot of redundancy in the spacecraft.”

For now, the Starliner team is celebrating its big event. “Today is a major milestone for NASA’s goal of providing additional commercial access to the Earth’s lower orbit, to save the ISS մարդկանց to bring humans back to Mars,” said NASA astronaut Bob Hines, who is currently in space. port. “The great achievements of human spaceflight have long been remembered in history. “Nothing else will happen today.”

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